Ok, it should be very easy one to figure out but I can't do it, so I'm asking experts. I want to know which one is accurate trackpad gesture for selecting text. Is it "three finger swipe right" or "one finger fixed with two fingers swipe down" or "three fingers swipe down" or any other ??

This is the context in which I'm asking this question.

I'm trying to automate my text selection to get highlighted in preview and to get copied to clipboard in web browser. Two different things , but selecting text & assigning gesture is common.

The way I select text in browser is by "three fingers drag right & down simultaneously".

This is how automatic highlighting worked in preview: selected text by "three finger swipe right" - assigned action "^ command H" to this gesture using bettertouchtool app & selected text is highlighted. But can't use same technique in web browser to automatically copy my text with trackpad gesture.

When I use "three fingers swipe right" gesture in browser it only selects few words or one line & not the entire set of lines/para like in preview. So what will be right trackpad gesture to select text in browser. I hope its clear now.

2 Answers 2


I think this link may help you out. "Three Fingers Drag" is not in Trackpad Preferences. It's in Accessibility.


Admin please pardon me for pasting links.

James From Vietnam.

  • Links are OK if you provide the details so the answer works if the link dies
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 2, 2016 at 8:15
  • 2
    Actually, this was the answer that helped me. In fact, this option, at least in El Captain, is located at Accessibility Options -> Trackpad Options. Thanks.
    – Marlon
    Apr 6, 2016 at 14:17

You can enable a three-finger-drag in system preferences, under touchpad/trackpad. Then, you can use three fingers to select text.

(Assuming that is what you're asking, it is not very clear to me.)

  • @lawsome Are you using BetterTouchTool? It might be worth explaining that in your question because I'm not entirely sure what you're asking otherwise.
    – grg
    Dec 22, 2015 at 13:09
  • yes, I am using BTT, mentioned it in last para. In simple selection of text, I use three fingers drag gesture. But three fingers drag is not available in BTT. So I tried selecting text with "three finger swipe right" or "three finger swipe down" but none of gestures are able to select text. They can select only one or two lines and not the entire para.
    – lawsome
    Dec 22, 2015 at 13:15
  • @lawsome Ok, well I'll leave this answer up in case someone has the question in which I answered.
    – Flare Cat
    Dec 23, 2015 at 0:40

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